Having almost six weeks off of school seems exciting at first … until about week two when you’ve grown tired of doing nothing but sleeping, eating and binge-watching Netflix. To help you pass the time and stimulate your mind, here are four novels that you can read over winter break.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

The long-awaited sequel to New York Times bestseller Child of Blood and Bone was released on Dec. 3 — and already has a 4.24 out of 5 rating on Goodreads. Book two of the Legacy of Orisha trilogy, this novel explores what happens now that magic has been returned to the people of the kingdom of Orisha, as well as its monarch and military. If you enjoy fantasy novels, stories about West African culture or both, this is a great option for your winter break reading list. 

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover’s Regretting You comes after a long string of excellent novels starting with her debut novel Slammed in 2012. Hoover, also a New York Times bestselling author, has never disappointed me, so I look forward to reading the story of Morgan Grant and her 16-year-old daughter Clara as they grieve the loss of their family anchor, Chris — Morgan’s husband and Clara’s father. The tragedy only deepens the wedge between the mother and daughter as they both find comfort in people they never could have before. This book is quite unlike Hoover’s typical stories of young love, and I can’t wait to see the talented author explore diverse genres in her writing.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

During a time when the United States’ immigration policy is at the forefront of political discourse, American Dirt tells a story that shows the human aspect of the journey to America. The novel follows Lydia Quixano Pérez, a bookstore owner, mother and wife living a fairly comfortable life in Acapulco, Mexico. That is, until her husband — a journalist — writes an exposé on the drug lord that has taken over the city. Suddenly, Lydia and her son are on the run toward el norte where they hope to be safe from violence. Set for release on Jan. 21, this book is likely to be an extraordinary depiction of the oppression and violence — both structural and physical — that migrants face when seeking asylum in the United States. 

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

The lack of diverse characters in the young adult genre has made me very accustomed to not seeing myself — a young black woman — in the novels that I read as a young girl. However, as I get older and discover authors of color — those who dare to tell stories of people who look like me and even share my culture — I have experienced what a joy it is to feel seen in such a way. For this reason, I look forward to reading Zoboi’s collection of short stories by a plethora of different authors as they explore the experience of being young and black in America.

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